While visiting your parent in the nursing home, you may have noticed some out-of-the-ordinary behavior, such as trouble staying awake and slurred words. Could a misuse of medication be to blame?

CNN examines how sometimes, nursing homes abuse antipsychotic drugs to control dementia patients. See if it may be to blame for your parent’s odd behavior.

Chemical restraints

One of the most alarming facts about drug misuse is that nursing home staff members may administer antipsychotic drugs to patients not diagnosed with dementia or any other mental illness that warrants the use of such medication. The reason that staff members often misuse antipsychotics is that nursing homes are often understaffed. Employees resort to medication as a chemical restraint with the intention of easing their workload.

Inherent dangers 

Something else to take note of when it comes to medication misuse is that antipsychotic drugs are not approved for those with dementia. In actuality, the use of such drugs on dementia patients often presents a health risk, even the possibility of death.

Common indicators 

So, how do you recognize when an Alabama nursing home may misuse medication on your parent? Side effects of antipsychotic medication include blood clots, high blood sugar, jerking, stiff muscles and low blood pressure. Talk with the head of the nursing home about whether they chemically restrain residents and whether they have a system in place to assist dementia residents that does not involve medication.

Depending on your parent’s current mental and physical state and whether the nursing home asked you about using antipsychotic medication on your parent before administering it, you could have a legal case on your hands. Speaking with a legal advocate makes for an ideal next step.